When you wish upon a star… Which admit it, is what you do.

It’s not enough to want it… you have to do something about it. If you want something and you don’t act on it – it remains a wish…

Nothing, and I mean nothing will happen.

You’re an adult now right (or maybe you’re adulting) the point is you’re not 1 year old anymore. You can do awesome shit – you just gotta…


I’ve been at this for a decade now… and by ‘this’ I mean helping people go after what they want. 9 out of 10 times… nothing happens. Why? After, I educate them on the best ways to make the most out of the resources they do have they don’t act.

Action means being proactive.

3 Types of Action to Take

  1. mental – Eliminate thoughts that don’t help you. Expand your knowledge. Hone your thinking skills. Manage your thoughts. Think more (or think less). Think better. Think further into the future. Think about the past. Learn something new. Learn more.
  2. emotional – Experience your feelings. Understand where its coming from. Appreciate them. Use them to your advantage. Manage feelings that make you uncomfortable. Work through your feelings.
  3. physical – Go somewhere else. Build something. Write it out. Produce something great. When your mind, heart and body are one that’s easy.

I’ll end with this…

Please don’t be this…

Waiting for life to happen to you…

Instead be this…

Grab it by the reigns and… make great things happen.


55-70M Filipinos Clueless about the Future Danger they are NOW exposed to.

Screenshot 2016-04-21 19.01.584/21 UPDATE: A site exposing the leaked data has been made. Some people say, don’t share and shut the site down. I have no position.. damned if you do  (people won’t know which info is floating around) and if you don’t (everyone else will know your data). With 55-70M records… you can pretty much assume some of your data is floating around on the web.

So COMELEC let 55-70M voters’ sensitive information slip through their fingers… COMELEC is saying it’s not a big deal… BUT IT IS A FUCKING BIG DEAL

“Regardless whether the hacking could affect the elections, there is still the issue of all voter information that was leaked,” according to Trend Micro.

3 Reasons Why This Should Be Bigger Deal than any of the presidentiables’ bullshit:

  1. The leaked info is specific. And freely available online for malicious people to use.
  2. Comelec tried to brush it off – said it wasn’t sensitive info. And that it hasn’t been verified. TrendMicro reported differently. SERIOUSLY!!!!! FUCK THEM!
  3. Troy Hunt (a respected cyber security expert) attempted to authenticate the data leak – and so far so bad. It looks like it’s legit. 

I can just imagine future news reports with – “Nang dumating ako sa immigration, laking gulat ko na hindi ako pinalampas ng immigration officer….Wala akong kamuang-muang hinuli na ako ng pulis dahil wanted daw ako for drug trafficking.” – said the Filipino who’s identity was stolen in that 2016 data breach

And in more detail

1. The leaked info is specific. And freely available online for malicious people to use.

Your name, email address, physical address, birthdate, mother’s maiden name, fingerprints have been compromised. It’s been made freely available online for download through torrents available for malicious people to use in identity theft, for crimes, fraud. etc. Even if parts of the data is encrypted since it’s been made available its only a matter of time for them to decrypt the information.

“The data, which has been widely distributed on both the dark and clear web, comprises of 228,605 email addresses; 1.3 million passport numbers and expiry dates of overseas Filipino voters; and 15.8 million fingerprint records.” Other data contained within the breach, which security researchers believe to be authentic, includes physical address, place of birth, height, weight, gender, marital status and parents’ names. All of this information was unencrypted. Some data, such as first and last names and dates of birth, was encrypted. “Once you start combining these attributes, your ability to impersonate someone is greatly enhanced,” Hunt said.” – Wired.co.uk

“The Filipino breach has been very broadly distributed. Not only has it been readily available for download from multiple locations on the clear web, it’s been quite extensively torrented too. The genie is well and truly out of the bottle and it won’t be going back in. The data consists of 76GB worth of (usually) compressed files, most notably a MySQL backup that expands out to 338GB. There’s a raft of other .sql files in the breach as well ranging from a few KB up to hundreds of MB.”” – Troy Hunt

“Philippine factions of Anonymous and LulzSec are not selling the stolen data on the black market for financial gain, but have made it public to shame the various agencies which should be protecting that data into doing so,” he added. However, the breach also opens up the potential for other nefarious groups and criminal organizations to take advantage of the leaked data and use it against the individuals who have information in those databases. According to Wenzler, this is where the hacktivism effort becomes an issue. “While the Comelec absolutely has a responsibility to protect constituent data, and should be held accountable for this breach, the potential threat caused by the hacktivist groups in publishing this data publicly may cause even greater harm in the long run.” “The fallout from this breach will be years in the making, but hopefully all parties involved will be taking immediate steps to minimize the damage to the citizens affected by this loss,” Wenzler concluded.” – Security Week

“With those data out there, Oliveria said that the end users – or in this case, registered voters – “are at risk of the usual scams or identity theft. That may happen.” He added that while technical skills are needed to open the leaked files, “the fact remains that the data is already in public space.” “If somebody has the intent or drive to actually go through the data and sort through it, or sell it in underground markets, he or she could take advantage of that,” Oliveria noted.” – Rappler

What can be done with the data of 55M Filipinos:

Any ID can be made. Not fake IDs but REAL IDs… just with a different face – The Identity Thief’s face

  • they could commit a crime and leave your “ID” behind to direct police to you
  • The thief can open a bank account, get a loan, apply for a credit card, or just take the money you do have
  • Access your personal accounts – the verification questions often ask for birthdate and mothers maiden name
  • buy a house or car or some other big ticket item

Here’s just some top of head:

  • digital dagdag-bawas in the upcoming elections
  • the dead brought back to digital life to vote
  • your good name is tarnished another “you” exists on social media and behaves badly
  • you visa is denied because “you” have a suspicious history
  • an overseas employer does a background check… and finds something horrific
  • you can’t borrow money from formal institutions
  • you can be liable for millions of dollars/pesos/etc. that “you” borrowed
  • you could be put in jail for a crime “you” committed
  • your email address could be used in oh so many ways… porn buying, spamming-scamming your friends

These data records are sold in the underground market for a lot of money to people with malicious intent. 55M people are more vulnerable to identity theft and fraud now thanks to this.

“Cybercriminals can choose from a wide range of activities to use the information gathered from the data breach to perform acts of extortion,” the firm explained. “In previous cases of data breaches, stolen data has been used to access bank accounts, gather further information about specific persons, used as leverage for spear phishing emails, blackmail, extortion, and much more. With 55 million registered voters in the Philippines, this leak may turn out as the biggest government-related data breach in history.” – Trend Micro

“Hunt contacted five people included in the breach to verify if the information leaked about them was accurate. All five replied to confirm that the information Hunt had found was true. “This thing is so freaking huge. This is very sensitive data,” Hunt said, referring specifically to unencrypted passport information of overseas Filipino voters. “With it being leaked, we might be looking at the revocation of these passports.” – Wired.co.uk

For more on what’s the worst that could happen to you? Read this https://www.privacyrights.org/ar/id_theft.htm

2. Comelec tried to brush it off – said it wasn’t sensitive info. And that it hasn’t been verified. TrendMicro reported differently. SERIOUSLY!!!!! FUCK THEM!

Stupid stuff they have said

““Worst case scenario is naka-kopya sila (they have copied it), but even then, there is no way for us to know if it is a faithful reproduction of what [the Comelec has],” – Rappler

““[They] have a list of names and addresses. That’s pretty much it. I think it’s going to be more complicated than that, when creating a bank account, for instance.” – Rappler

“Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez says no vital voter information such as fingerprints or photos were recovered by the hackers who struck at the end of March.” – Asia Times, thought the Trend Micro article says that there were a huge number of fingerprint files…

“Analysis of the data by computer security firm Trend Micro also found fields headed ‘VOTESOBTAINED’, which suggests the system may have been intended for counting votes for candidates. A vote to elect a new president and vice president will take place on May 9.” – Wired.co.uk

4. Troy Hunt (a respected cyber security expert) attempted to authenticate the data leak – and so far so bad. It looks like it’s legit. 

“Amongst the huge volume of data is a total of 228,605 email addresses. This may sound like a small number out of the 55M records, but according to reports, a lot of the sensitive data such as passport numbers belongs to a “mere” 1.3M overseas voters. It’s entirely conceivable that records are not complete across all these individuals, but at least the email addresses gave me a verification avenue.”

“At the time of writing, I have 367k verified subscribers in Have I been pwned (HIBP)… Part of the reason why I particularly wanted to do that with this breach is because of this statement by COMELEC officials (emphasis mine): “Again, I want to emphasize that the database in our website is accessible to the public. There is no sensitive information there.”” 

“Yesterday I emailed a number of HIBP subscribers and got back some pretty quick responses with everyone willing to assist.”

“The 228,605 email addresses in the breach are now searchable in HIBP. I actually had to create five new data classes when loading this breach, that is I’d never seen this information in a breach before: Marital statuses, Biometric data, Physical attributes, Family members’ names”


Sigh… I’m not articulate enough to be able to do justice to why this is a SUPER BIG DEAL. Let’s just say there’s a new feather in our cap, one I’d rather people burn at the stake for.

Philippines Election Commission Attack Might Be The Largest Data Breach Ever”


Check out these articles for more info:

What My Vote Means

Dear Candidate
Whether you win or lose in this 2016 elections…and whatever post in government you were gunning for… I just wanted to explain to you what my vote means.
For the past months-weeks you’ve bombarded me with propaganda and incentives – jingles, advertisements, posters, freebies-from fans to t-shirts to artistas. You’ve spoken about why you should be voted into office (all the good and all of the lame reasons). It’s extremely annoying and it never ceases to amaze me how much money was wasted in parading! But it is necessary to politick…to go around and make an appearance. You are your brand, you have to promote – I get it. I’m sure it’s been grueling…but you know that ultimately you do these things specifically to get me to vote for you.
Well plainly put all of that is crap! I won’t be won over by slick looking posters – though that will probably get me to take a second look. I won’t be hooked by your stupid jingles – though it will probably be on an LSS loop in my head, unlikely to be forgotten. I won’t be convinced by charismatic speeches – though I’ll probably be moved. I won’t be impressed by your celebrity endorsers -though I’ll probably judge you by your choice of celebrity endorser.
My vote means I trust you, it means that despite all your flaws, I have placed myself and my loved ones in your hands. If you can’t handle that – if you can’t be responsible for me and everyone I love then get the hell out of the race. I’m better off fending for myself than with you serving me.
But if you do decide to forge on, then know that I expect a hell of a lot from you – I expect more than what I expect from my family. I expect someone who will guard me-keeping me safe from harm, who will provide for me-enable me to survive and thrive, who will fight for me-represent my hopes and dreams, who will comfort and be a beacon of hope in times of trouble, who will believe in me and encourage me to be better than who I am today and ultimately who will guide me-bring me to a better tomorrow.

Guita T. Gopalan

Let’s Make Great Things Happen!

facebook  twitter  linkedin  googleplus  tumblr  youtube  slideshare  http://www.pinterest.com/guitagopalan  wordpress

Clickbait Politics: Duterte, Poe, Roxas?

First, a definition

Clickbait is online content designed and tested to get you to click or share. Controversial headlines and pictures are typically used. And anyone worth their buck in the online content space would test pictures and headlines to see which gets more traction.

Everything you read online especially from the bigger content providers is tested. When first published, they look at how many people pick up the article and share it. They tweak the headline, the picture and usually the first 1-2 sentences and see if that version makes people want to read and share it more. If it does, then thats what they go with. So on platforms like Facebook, you are the guinea pigs and the market that these content gets tested on and eventually sold to.

When Facebook posts get shared

Three things struck me as I was browsing through Facebook earlier

  1. many posts about Duterte linking to some news item
  2. many shallow comments for/against Duterte. Generalizations, witty comebacks, and single statements (which I suspect weren’t really thought through)
  3. news links had really ‘engaging’ headlines and pictures looked odd (like Duterte in mid-speech looking a bit like a fish) but these were likely ‘engaging’ too

I found myself exasperated, so I posted this on Facebook.

Duterte’s PR strategy is to get everyone riled up. I’ve noticed one controversial statement/action released a week. His…

Posted by Guita Gopalan on Monday, November 30, 2015

After getting a fair bit of reaction, I decided to think deeper about clickbait content, Philippine presidentiables and perceptions.

Of Google Trends, Politics and Perception

As of Dec 1 12:43AM, “Rodrigo Duterte” is #13 on Google Trends Top Stories, Philippines. This is followed by Miriam Defensor Santiago at #19, and Grace Poe at #36.

Duterte, as of late, is winning the media game. Getting a lot of media coverage and those media outlets getting a lot of eyeballs, ears and clicks because of Duterte’s controversial statements.

But just two weeks ago, Grace Poe had the limelight with all the hoopla about her citizenship and being a foundling and the like. And a few months back, we had all that Binay coverage about corruption and what not.

See the thing is, in politics: recognition, awareness and name recall are THE BIG FACTORS for winning. These coupled with a positive perception (or often in our case, lesser evil perception) can make or break a campaign.

Take a look at this 12 month, interest over time graph from Google Trends for Binay, Duterte, Poe, Defensor-Santiago, and Roxas:

Screenshot 2015-12-01 04.25.38

Click on the Image for an Interactive Graph on Google Trends

Rizalito David, Camilo Sanio, Roy Señeres, and Apolonia Soguilon don’t even have enough volume to merit displaying tracking information. Augusto Syjuco has more volume than the four but significantly less than what’s presented in the graph above.

Why any of this matters?

What we consume, share and comment on content about the 5 Presidentiables, senatoriables, candidates for congress, and local politicians, contribute to the cultivation of perception about these candidates. Both the positive and negative images.

There are approximately 50M registered voters out of 65M eligible voters. Of the 50M, 28M belong to GenX (1961-1980) and GenY (1980-2000). This article does a better job of outlining the voting population profile for the 2016 elections. There are 42M Filipinos online. 2/3rds or 28M of whom are under 30. Sources are down below. Math geniuses and statisticians can look deeper and give you specific figures…but even without their help, it’s easy to suppose that a significant number of individuals will fall into the 50M voters and the 42M online Facebookers buckets.

One vote is unlikely to change the tide in elections. But one voter can affect the vote of thousands and millions. You have a sphere of influence, at least 5 people you can share your thoughts with. Those 5 have another 5 friends, those friends of friends have 5 other friends and so far. With social media, you can reach even more than five friends and they can reach more than five friends too.

So what to do?

  1. Share content from legitimate sources. There are a lot of fake sites spreading good rumours and bad rumours. Verify.
  2. Don’t just share click bait… Express your opinions and thoughts. Explain more why you think this vs that. Why you agree or disagree. Don’t be offended just for the sake of it.
    • If someone gives you hell for expressing your thoughts, you don’t need to engage them. If you do choose to engage them, keep it above the belt.
  3. Do your research. Pose questions, engage with the social accounts of these politicians. Yes its likely some staff is answering, but that answer is made under that politicians name. Get their thoughts on issues that you are concerned with.



Sources for figures about the Philippines and Filipinos on the internet:


You’re Doing Just Fine – Charlotte Eriksson

“Take a shower. Wash away every trace of yesterday. Of smells. Of weary skin. Get dressed. Make coffee, windows open, the sun shining through. Hold the cup with two hands and notice that you feel the feeling of warmth. 
 You still feel warmth.
Now sit down and get to work. Keep your mind sharp, head on, eyes on the page and if small thoughts of worries fight their ways into your consciousness: threw them off like fires in the night and keep your eyes on the track. Nothing but the task in front of you.

Get off your chair in the middle of the day. Put on your shoes and take a long walk on open streets around people. Notice how they’re all walking, in a hurry, or slowly. Smiling, laughing, or eyes straight forward, hurried to get to wherever they’re going. And notice how you’re just one of them. Not more, not less. Find comfort in the way you’re just one in the crowd. Your worries: no more, no less.

Go back home. Take the long way just to not pass the liquor store. Don’t buy the cigarettes. Go straight home. Take off your shoes. Wash your hands. Your face. Notice the silence. Notice your heart. It’s still beating. Still fighting. Now get back to work.
Work with your mind sharp and eyes focused and if any thoughts of worries or hate or sadness creep their ways around, shake them off like a runner in the night for you own your mind, and you need to tame it. Focus. Keep it sharp on track, nothing but the task in front of you.
Work until your eyes are tired and head is heavy, and keep working even after that.

Then take a shower, wash off the day. Drink a glass of water. Make the room dark. Lie down and close your eyes.
Notice the silence. Notice your heart. Still beating. Still fighting. You made it, after all. You made it, another day. And you can make it one more. 
You’re doing just fine.
You’re doing fine.

I’m doing just fine.”
Charlotte Eriksson, You’re Doing Just Fine

When you don’t like yourself

Take a look in the mirror. A real look. Wash the make up off. Rinse the gunk from your hair. Hell, strip down if you want to. In the comfort of your room – private, safe. Take a really good look at yourself. With sincerity, openness – with courage – answer the question: “Do you like the person in the mirror? Unvarnished. Unadorned. Open. Honest.”

If you do this sincerely, truly, without lying to yourself. If you stop running away… this terrible exercise will be awesome. It will unlock new possibilities. Things you would not have conceived previously.

Source: stuck-iin-reality.tumblr.com


Do this:

  1. What don’t you like about yourself? There’s a specific thing that you don’t like (there may be tons of stuff) but there’s one that immediately comes to mind. Catch that thought… don’t go running after the other thoughts. Write it down.
  2. Don’t dive in. Don’t think of anything else. And don’t think too deeply about it, we don’t need to know why: just the what. Resist the temptation to let your other thoughts (reasons why you don’t like yourself) run free in your head. Focus on that one.
  3. What 5 things can you do to transform unlike to like? What can you do? Say to yourself? Ask someone else to say to you? Think? Feel?

In my case, I hated how difficult it is for me to express happiness. I mean seriously, who doesn’t want to show that they’re happy, right? For me, it’s a challenge, I can be really happy but few would have guessed it. So I decided on five things:

Smile Challenge. I put a note on my door saying Smile. The note reminds me as I head out the door. I also read a bunch of articles and watched videos about how smiling can make you feel happier.

Take a moment, choose to be happy. If something derails my day… instead of delving into the now automatic thinking of “how do I deal with this” (which is how my brain works, for others the voice in their head is scream HFS), I would pause that train of thought and choose to be happy. It changes who I approach situations and people. Things are not as grave as they seem to be.

Guards on break. I selected a couple of people, I decided to be more open to (for me that includes happiness). Before meeting up with them or talking to them or sending a message, I make a conscious choice to express my happiness. That means, I start thinking of happy news to share about my day or that I share a happy thought or article.

Dance. In the privacy of my own bedroom, I cranked the music loud and dance my ass off. Why? Because it makes me happy. Nuff said.

Happy Ally. I got someone else to push me to be happier. I asked my boyfriend to modify his end of the day check in question. Instead of asking, how was your day… he asks me : “What made you happy today?” It forces me to think hard and to pay attention to the small moments of happiness.

The 3 steps I outline will work for you if you are committed to yourself. Your journey is different from mine so what I’m going through and my actions won’t necessarily be yours. It might not even be good for you. Or it might be too trivial. We each have our own pace.

If you want to chat, I’m here. sohelpful.me/guitagopalan

When hit shits the fan


Yup you read that right. Despite best intentions, efforts, planning… you’re actions led to a bad result.

When shit hits the fan – you’ll get shit everywhere. With patience and a high tolerance for foul smells, you’ll eventually clean up that mess.

Source: drawception.com

Source: Teehunter.com

It’s completely different when [a] hit shits the fan… the fan is in smithereens. Lysol and a rag headed for the trash bin aren’t worth anything in this situation. You need an understanding of how a fan works, tools to put it back together and the commitment to put it back to working condition.

Though, there’s always that chance of not being able to fix it in the end.


There’s a point where walking away is the only good move. There’s no shame in saying, I’ve gone beyond the point I can take. No shame at all.

Quitting is strategic if that decision is done with great thought and after exhausting all avenues.

Sanity. Practicality. Family. Self-love. Those should take priority. Live to fight another day.

There are people who scream NO QUITTING like a raving lunatic on the rooftops… and their are those glorify FAILURE as if it were a badge.

Quitting hurts. It hits you hard in the gut. But quit with dignity. Consider it a retreat. Throwing in the towel is a poor metaphor… towels aren’t expensive. It’s not the end.

Failure sucks… don’t be proud that you failed. Be proud you had the courage to try. You failed because you didn’t have the right ingredients. Figure it out before the next opportunity to try comes knocking on your door.

Develop a healthy relationship with the reality of letting go. Grieve – Be shocked. Be angry. Deny-ny-ny. Bargain away. Be depressed. And then Accept and let go. Don’t dwell on the quitting and failure – it’s worth nothing. Not the amount of thought and emotion it’s stealing from you. Feel what you feel then make your way to letting it go.


Your experience was complex, that’s why you weren’t able to make it work. That’s why you couldn’t put it back together again. All this means is you now know more that you did before things went south.

These are valuable lessons: the fan, yourself and everything in between and around it. Milk it for all the wisdom you can.

When shit hits the fan. When the fan discombobulates. Sometimes the best thing to do is talk to someone who’s willing to listen. Call me? sohelpful.me/guitagopalan

What Caught My Eye: The StartUp Wall

What Caught My Eye: The StartUp Wall

Can you spot the empty whiteboard? It blended into the wall. And a bunch of images we printed and posted on the wall to inspire and remind us to be great!

The Unknowable Patch – Seth Godin http:/

The Unknowable Patch – Seth Godin http://ow.ly/OjkEu

Why people get stuck on the negative

  • “you have to work to see the upside. Literally this takes work. This takes effort. You can train your mind to do this (have a gain frame) better.”
  • “we forget to talk about the good stuff, and yet that’s exactly where our minds need the most practice.”
  • “What happened today that was good?…Somewhere in the telling I start to smile.”